New Logo

Volkswagen's "R" gets a new logo starting with 2020 Atlas Cross Sport

Volkswagen's iconic "R" logo is getting a 21st Century update.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen ushered in its highest level of popularity with the VW Beetle and alongside the development of that product came the VW R line.

In the 1970s, European Beetle enthusiasts begged the company to create a limited-edition version fo the Bug for rally driving. It would have an upgraded suspension and brakes. Volkswagen obliged, offering a well-equipped Beetle with a special yellow and black livery called the Beetle GSR or Gelb Schwartz Renner.

The spirit of that rally car would continue through the generations of Volkswagen vehicles extending through the Golf R and the company's R-Line trim levels that can be found on many modern VWs like the Jetta and Passat.

"Volkswagen R is all about excitement and thrill," says Jost Capito, Managing Director of Volkswagen R." In the future, we will continue to focus our efforts on integrating these emotions into the Volkswagen brand."

MK5 Volkswagen Golf R32

MK5 Volkswagen Golf R32

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

A very limited number of these models were sold in the U.S. because of the Great Recession.

The modern incarnation of Volkswagen R began in 2002 with the reveal of the first Golf R32, designed to be a hotter hatch than the typical Golf. Produced until 2005, the model came complete with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. The engine pumped out 238 horsepower and was the world's first production car with a race-inspired dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

When Volkswagen redesigned the Golf for the 2008 model year, the company sold a very limited number of 2008 Golf R32 models in the U.S., due in large part to the Great Recession. The redesign gave the model 250 horsepower but took away its manual transmission, opting instead for paddle shifters.

Two iterations later, the Golf R has reached its 2019 model year with a 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque rating. It can be had with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG transmission. It starts at just over $40,000.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen introduced the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and when the model arrives on dealership lots, a new version of the R logo will come with it.

"The R marks the athletic apex of our model program and the R logo serves as an expression of both aesthetics and sportsmanship," says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design.

The new logo was designed at the Volkswagen Design Center in Santa Monica, California.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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New subcompact crossover

Honda announces freshened HR-V for 2023

The new HR-V is based on the Civic.

Honda

With the release of the all-new Civic and its performance variants, Honda's lineup grew more exciting this year. Even so, the automaker can't forget about its bread and butter models, which in the United States means SUVs. Its smallest, the HR-V, is getting an overhaul for 2023 with fresh styling and a more responsive powertrain. Honda hasn't elaborated on pricing or given out an exact release date for the HR-V, but we know the SUV is coming this summer.

2023 Honda HR-VThe new HR-V gets fresh styling and a more responsive powertrain.Honda

The 2023 HR-V gets a new grille with a longer hood and sweeping roofline. Honda notes that the new HR-V is based on the Civic, so while we don't have full powertrain and tech details for the new SUV, we can draw some inferences from that information. The new Civic comes standard with a 158-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a CVT, which would be a reasonable choice for the HR-V. As it did in the Civic, the base will likely also bring a lively driving experience and confident handling to the HR-V.

2023 Honda HR-VThe HR-V will hit the streets this summer.Honda

Honda says the HR-V features a large greenhouse with door-mounted mirrors and a low cowl for better visibility. LED headlights and tail lights are standard, and the new rear-end design features a more rounded, grown-up shape than the previous model.

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